Dietary patterns and their associations with energy, nutrient intake and socioeconomic factors in rural lactating mothers in Tibet.
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
There is very limited published data on Tibetan dietary patterns and its association with nutrient intakes and socioeconomic factors. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the dietary patterns and the associations with nutrient intakes in rural Tibetan pregnant, lactating mothers.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN
Dietary patterns and nutrient intakes were identified via a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). We identified dietary patterns using principle component analysis (PCA) of intakes of 17 food groups and specific Tibetan foods. Quartile categories of each dietary pattern were used, and non-dietary lifestyle factors and total energy intake were adjusted for the analysis. We identified two dietary patterns: "Varied pattern" and "Staple pattern".
The "Varied pattern" was characterized by a high intake of vegetables, fruits and soy foods which showed significant positive associations with vitamins. Vitamin C (Ptrend<0.01) and vitamin E (Ptrend<0.01) were strongly associated with "Varied pattern" among mothers with children younger or older than 12 months. The "Staple pattern" was characterized by Tibetan staple foods, Tibetan beverages and Tibetan snacks and showed significant negative associations with protein (Ptrend<0.01) among mothers with children younger than 12 months or older than 12 months. Carbohydrate intakes significantly increased with "Staple pattern" among mother with children younger than 12 months only.
The results presented here suggested our dietary patterns to great extent characterize the dietary behavior of Tibetan lactating mothers. There is, therefore, potential for dietary patterns to be used as a valid tool in assessing Tibetan diet.